PointBuzz posts Demon Drop retrospect feature

Posted Wednesday, October 21, 2009 3:22 PM | Contributed by Jeff

Cedar Point fan site PointBuzz has posted a Demon Drop retrospect feature that includes PR photos from 1983, a behind the scenes walk around the ride, newspaper clippings and the classic TV commercial. It was recently leaked that the ride is being relocated to Knott's Berry Farm at the conclusion of this season.

Link: PointBuzz

Thursday, October 22, 2009 1:28 PM

Thats some good stuff. Its easy to forget how unique those drop rides felt when they first came out. I remember waiting in some very long lines when Demon Drop first opened and thinking afterwards that the ride was worth the wait. I'll be sorry to see it go, the front entrance just won't seem the same.

Thursday, October 22, 2009 6:08 PM

Glad to hear this is moving to another park and not going to scrap yard. Not too many of these left and I actually prefer them to the modern drop rides.

Friday, October 23, 2009 4:06 PM

Looking at this, I wonder what percentage of ride costs were for electronics back then versus now. I'd presume they are MUCH cheaper now.

Friday, October 23, 2009 4:23 PM

I'm willing to bet it'd be about 90% less. You could probably fit all the software that DD used in '83 on a 512 MB flash drive. You could run the ride off of a Pentium II computer with plenty of memory left over to play Doom 3. ;)

Friday, October 23, 2009 4:39 PM

Forget Doom 3, its all about the RCT! ;)

Friday, October 23, 2009 5:04 PM

I suspect a lot of those are relays, and they can only get so small to accommodate high voltage. The only thing that looks computerish to me is the stuff at the far right.

Friday, October 23, 2009 5:21 PM

I dunno Jeff. Anybody have a clue how much power DD uses and how big the motors are on average?

Friday, October 23, 2009 5:27 PM

Well you've seen the pictures. They're a bunch of kicker motors moving big heavy things, just like any coaster. Honestly, the mechanical rooms of the other big rides don't look that different (save for those that are hydraulic).

Friday, October 23, 2009 5:42 PM

Okay. I get the idea. Even so, the tech has come a long way since '83. Actually, I'm guessing a lot of that stuff dates back to the late 70's, given the lead time.

Last edited by Hopman, Friday, October 23, 2009 5:47 PM
Friday, October 23, 2009 5:53 PM

I believe the original listing on Ital's site said 90KW.

Friday, October 23, 2009 9:30 PM

The big difference between then and now is that some of the relay logic...any low-current relays you see in that cabinet that may have been used for logic...could be replaced with the PLC (far right). It is not clear from the photos...many rides of that era were driven by relay logic, but used PLCs for monitoring purposes (one version of the Vekoma SLC, specifically the one Geauga Lake had, worked that way). That can be shifted to an all-PLC design. There still needs to be some kind of interface, though, between the low-current and the high-current side of things.

One other thing that can be done today, though, is to drive the motors off of TTL circuits using a high-current motor controller. My guess is that the big-ass 3-phase contactor on the floor of the second cabinet is probably for the elevator, and the smaller contactors in the first and second cabinets are for the various feed motors. Some of those contactors could be replaced with motor controllers, which are basically just solid-state contactors. The neat thing, though, is that the controller can vary the power line frequency and control how much power the motor uses. The benefit to that is that the overall power requirements for the ride can be reduced, as the motors can use just enough power to do the job instead of running at full-bore all the time. That's even true for a very simple controller such as a soft-start unit.

In answer to your question, janfrederick, my guess is that for a similar ride designed today vs. a quarter-century ago, the electrical parts count is probably lower and the system is more reliable, but the individual parts are more expensive. I/O boards cost more than relays, but they have no moving parts, have a faster response, and a longer MTBF. The payback comes in the form of greater reliability and potentially lower operating costs over the life of the ride.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

Sunday, October 25, 2009 4:41 PM

Would it have been so cost prohibitive to theme it has a "mine shaft" drop type of ride? The theme doesn't fit anything in the area that they are putting it in. :-(

Sunday, October 25, 2009 6:09 PM

Cub, it's already geen, why not a "stock market" drop ride?

Sunday, October 25, 2009 8:52 PM

Cub, It hasn't even been moved yet.

...Are you from the future or something?

Sunday, October 25, 2009 10:44 PM

Well the 3rd paragraph in the LA Times story says

Knottā€™s will keep the Demon Drop name, color scheme and theme.

. I wasn't reading the future. I was believing what I was reading that's all. http://travel.latimes.com/daily-deal-blog/index.php/knotts-berry-farm-to-5666/

Sunday, October 25, 2009 11:44 PM

Heck, they could just add a wooden sign somewhere in the queue that reads, "Demon Drop Mining Company". POP! Theme!

Monday, October 26, 2009 12:33 PM

. . .Until the sign breaks down next year and doesn't get fixed.

Monday, October 26, 2009 2:25 PM

Thank you for that trip back to my childhood. The year Demon Drop opened was my first trip to the Point. What fond memories I have of those days. I still remember the guy at the entrance to DD measuring me with the candy cane looking stick. He didn't do it right on purpose, making me think I was too short. I remember thinking, "thank god". Then my dad laughing saying "why don't you measure him again". I was just tall enough and there was no escape. To all you younger riders out there, cherish the times you have now with your dads or moms. Believe it or not, you will look back 10-15 years from now wishing you could do it all again. I am sad to see it go but like all things, all good things must end. It was a great run DD. You will be missed.

Monday, October 26, 2009 5:32 PM

Winston said:
. To all you younger riders out there, cherish the times you have now with your dads or moms. Believe it or not, you will look back 10-15 years from now wishing you could do it all again.

How very true Winston. Thankfully, both of my parents a still alive and kicking, but you always chereish ANY memory with your parents. I remember spend many a time working with my dad on the family cars. A simple, mundane slice of life, but valuable all the same.


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